Flooding | St. Louis Public Radio


Lawmakers defeat flood-insurance provision

Jul 1, 2012
Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Members of Illinois' congressional delegation say they've defeated a legislative measure that would have mandated flood insurance for individuals living behind what they called healthy flood-protection barriers.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's office says the proposal originally was part of the National Flood Insurance Program's reauthorization bill. But federal lawmakers from Illinois say the insurance mandate was tucked into the bill with little warning.
Durbin says lawmakers managed to have that provision removed.

(Diana Fredlund/US Army Corps of Engineers)

A new report calls flood management on the Missouri River “outdated” and says it’s putting the public at risk.

The report by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers identifies the Missouri River as one of the ten most endangered in the country.

Morning Headlines: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Apr 25, 2012
(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

MoDOT to work on I-64 double-deck for the rest of the year

The Missouri Department of Transportation is warning motorists that major work on the 1-64 double-deck structure in downtown will impact traffic until the end of the year.

MoDOT engineer Deanna Venker says at least one lane will be closed at all times on the structure that leads to and from the Poplar Street Bridge.

(via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Jay Woods)

An increase in free space within reservoirs would not have made much of a difference in last year’s record flooding along the Missouri River, according to a report released today by the Army Corps of Engineers.   

Jody Farhat, the Corps’ Chief Water Manager for the Missouri River, says a higher amount of free space would have only reduced last year’s flooding, not prevented it.

“Due to the tremendous volume of water, we still would have had very high record releases from the reservoirs," Farhat said.  "We still would have had a significant flood event in the Missouri basin."

(Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

State and federal leaders are gathering in Columbia Saturday to talk about ways to prevent last year’s devastating floods that plagued northwest and southeastern Missouri.

Heavy snow and rainfall led to record releases from South Dakota dams along the Missouri River –and as a result 200,000 acres of farmland in northwest Missouri sat flooded for months, along with a significant stretch of Interstate 29 in Missouri and Iowa.  Around 130,000 acres were flooded in the southeast part of the state when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a hole in the Birds Point Levee along the Mississippi River in order to protect the town of Cairo, Illinois.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 11, 2012 - WASHINGTON - As a record deluge surged toward the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers last spring, officials had to decide whether to save the town of Cairo, Ill., by flooding 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland and its small communities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 30, 2011 - Eight months since Morehouse, Mo., was devastated by flash flooding, the little Bootheel town has been cleaned up and rebuilt, but residents still question the decision-making that they say put their community in jeopardy.

"The majority of people who were rebuilding are back in their homes, but there is still work to be done,'' said Mayor Pete Leija.

Mo. gets $5M disaster-recovery grant from FEMA

Dec 7, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri is getting more than $5 million from the federal government to help in the long-term recovery for people hit by tornadoes and flooding.

The grant announced Wednesday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be available to help people hit by tornadoes in the Joplin and St. Louis areas, as well as flooding along the Mississippi River and in southern Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Milus and Wanda Wallace can't move heaven, but they are moving tons of earth to live once again on their "slice of heaven" in the southern section of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.

The Wallaces' Mississippi County farm was among the 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland inundated by floodwater in May after the Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the levee in three places to alleviate flooding in Cairo, Ill., and other towns along the Mississippi River.

Morning headlines: Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nov 3, 2011

SIUC tenure and tenure-track faculty go on strike

Three of the four Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) unions in a contract dispute with the administration have reached a tentative agreement, avoiding a strike among non-tenure track faculty, civil service staff and graduate assistants. But one group walked off the job this morning.

Talks toward a new contract broke down last night.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District says it will be developing a new system to monitor back-up power sources at its pumping stations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 18, 2011 - WASHINGTON - River levels may be falling now, but fears are rising in some states along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers that another extremely wet season and slow progress in levee repairs could lead to more flooding next spring. At a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday, a parade of senators -- including Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. -- took the Army Corps of Engineers to task for its river management and urged the agency to make flood control a higher priority in its master plan for the Missouri River.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 27, 2011 -WASHINGTON - When the U.S. Senate approved a $6.9 billion bill to meet disaster relief needs two weeks ago, both of Missouri's senators backed it, citing the state's tremendous needs in recovering from this year's tornadoes, floods and storms.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 2, 2011 - WASHINGTON - A "perfect storm" of disasters and budget woes is high-pressuring Congress to confront hard choices on how to replenish the federal government's rapidly dwindling disaster emergency fund at a time of troubling deficits.

(Photo courtesy of Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

The federal government should pay 100 percent of the cost of flood damage in Missouri – according to some members of the Missouri Senate.   

Normally, the feds pick up the tab for disaster response and later bill the affected state government 25 percent of the cost.  State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says Missouri should not have to pay, since the floods in the Show-Me State were the federal government’s fault.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated with comments from Schweich, statement from Nixon.

Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich has released a report that is sharply critical of Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold $172  million from the current budget to help the state cope with a series of natural disasters.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) and nearly half of Missouri’s congressional delegation are pledging to rebuild levees and pursue policies that will make massive water releases from dams unnecessary in the future.

They addressed this issue at a meeting of Missouri Farm Bureau members at the State Fair in Sedalia today.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug 18, 2011 - "Rebuild our levee," demanded a protester's sign at the New Madrid river dock, "so we can rebuild our lives."

Members of the Mississippi River Commission heard a similar message from about two dozen local residents this week during a public hearing aboard a riverboat that had helped carry explosives to blast holes in the Birds Point levees in May. They stopped in New Madrid as part of their annual inspection trip along the river.

Nixon asks Obama for disaster declaration

Jul 26, 2011
(via Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is asking President Barack Obama to issue a major disaster declaration for 23 northern counties hit by severe storms and flooding along the Missouri River. He announced the request Monday.

The disaster request would cover events since June 1. If approved, it would allow government aid to flow to families and public agencies that have suffered losses. The counties included in the request are:

(via Flickr/jpmueller99)

Amtrak officials say full service between St. Louis and Kansas City will be restored on Wednesday, nearly a month after being disrupted due to flood waters.

Flooding along the Missouri River had forced more freight traffic onto tracks used by Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner.  Spokesman Marc Magliari says the high waters have subsided.